Couple who faked 911 shooting call to rob Walmart charged again

Couple who faked 911 shooting call to rob Walmart charged again
Erin Maureen Shrader
Erin Maureen Shrader

ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A Salisbury couple charged last week in a bizarre attempted shoplifting incident, now face new charges for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Mark Shrader and Erin Shrader were booked on the new charge Monday night. Bond was set at $5000 each.

Salisbury Police Captain Sheila Lingle admits it is one of the strangest shoplifting cases she's seen recently. A couple reportedly called 911 with a fake shooting as a distraction to keep officers busy while they shoplifted from Walmart.

According to the report, a woman called 911 just after 7:00 a.m. Tuesday to report that someone had been shot at a business on the corner of Long Street and Bringle Ferry Road.  The caller said that "a woman was down."

The call sparked a large response from police and emergency workers, but nothing was found and witnesses in the area said they had not seen anything unusual or heard any gunshots.

At the same time, over on Arlington Street in the Walmart, police say 33-year-old Mark Shrader Jr. and 32-year-old Erin Maureen Shrader from China Grove, were filling up a shopping cart with items.

Just moments earlier, Erin Shrader reportedly borrowed a cell phone from a Walmart employee.

The employee overheard her calling 911 to report the shooting on Long Street. According to police, the employee thought the incident was odd, and when she got the phone back, she took it to her manager.  When they looked at the call history, it showed that the last number called was only three digits: 911.

Walmart called police and then started watching the Shraders.  According to the report, they had filled up a shopping cart, but realized they were being watched, so they left the cart and walked out of the store.

Police say they couple then went to their car, which was parked beside the store. That's when the Shraders took items from beneath their shirts and placed them in the car, then walked back into the store and started to fill a second shopping cart.

An undercover police officer then confronted the couple in the store.

When additional officers arrived, Mark Shrader was searched and police reportedly found a crack pipe in his pocket and a second crack pipe in his boot.

Mark Shrader was charged with drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Erin Shrader was charged with concealment of merchandise and misuse of the 911 system.

Two sets of sheets, valued at $37.29, were found in the car.  Police also noted that the license plate of the car had been covered over with paper.

Police were familiar with Mark Shrader for his involvement in an unusual incident several months ago.

On August 29, police responded to a call of "shots fired" and a domestic disturbance in the 100 block of Sunset Drive.

According to that report, Shrader's fiance, who is not identified by name, had fired a gun into the ground while the two were packing belongings into a U-Haul trailer.  Police later determined that the couple had been having an argument at the time the shot was fired.

Shrader got into his truck and sped away from the house, but was found a short time later in a parking lot.  At that time, Shrader was charged with communicating threats, drug possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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